As we drive up to Home Depot we see specially marked spaces for hybrid vehicles. We know that , because of the signage and big green cars painted on the ground.
What is our reward for being so green?
A space right by the door. Sounds good and I’ve seen this type of marketing in newer condos as well. A long line of spaces with plenty of signage just as you enter the visitors parking area.
So why am I calling this a gimmick?
Presumably these spaces are not only for gas / electric hybrids but likely to also attract and reward those of us with straight electric vehicles. I see bollards with receptacles in them and in, and at the condo I saw a whole wall of receptacles with covers and little padlocks.
So I guess I can just park my car, plug in, charge up and shop (or visit) right? Well not exactly. These locations have probably spent more on paint and signs than on electrical infrastructure. If I want to charge my car I need to take the class 1 trickle charger that came with my car, plug it in and charge that way. The problem is that it would take up to 12 hours for my car to charge and my charger would not be secure. Anyone could just unplug it and walk away.
If either of these locations was serious about serving their guests they would have installed class 2 chargers with cords that could provide a much quicker charge and would be quite secure. You would have certainly thought that Home Depot would have installed these chargers since you can buy them in the store.
Care to see it done right? Maybe you can drop by Yorkdale shopping Mall in Toronto.
This is the right approach.
In time these locations will see the value in properly serving the EV market. If they don’t I’m sure that the competitors will.
Home Depot Pictures by: Khalid Mokhtarzada, Yorkdale Mall Picture from: Hybridcars.com